Royal Charter Spam

March 21, 2013

It’s hard for me to see a Royal Charter to regulate the press as “a boot stamping on a human face forever” as the Sun suggested earlier this week.

There’s a useful list of all Royal Charters since the year 1231 at the Privy Council website. Scanning the list not many seem to be instruments of brutal tyranny.

The BBC is governed by a Royal Charter. It’s regulated by both the BBC Trust and by OFCOM. BBC people often moan about compliance. Others observe that the BBC is more regulated than any other media organisation in the UK.

The BBC’s relationship with government is complex. Some of the BBC’s biggest crises have involved conflict with the government of the day. Sometimes the BBC has won, sometimes it has lost.

But the BBC’s journalism has an international reputation for quality, impartiality and accuracy. And despite the horrible stuff of the last year people still trust the BBC more than other institutions. The BBC does do investigative journalism. Maybe it should do more.

Would a Royal Charter for the press be the end of the world?

When I tweeted the phrase “Royal Charter” I was immediately followed by a spam account.

Could we have a Royal Charter outlawing spam please?

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